Following the various lockdowns that the world has endured during the COVID pandemic, we at Strictly Swimming London have recently seen a huge surge in people wanting to take up the sport of swimming for fitness and many new clients have finally decided to take the plunge and learn to swim.
But is our sport safe during these risky times?
Well virologists at Imperial College London have revealed that their study showed that the Covid-19 virus (SARS-CoV-2) can be neutralised in chlorinated swimming pool water in under 30 seconds. This is great news for swimmers across London and the world, suggesting that the risk of transmission of Covid-19 in swimming pools is extremely low.
Covid virus does not survive in the pool
The study concentrated on the effects of swimming pool water on the virus and assessed the amount of time and contact needed to neutralise the virus within various chlorine and pH levels. The research established that 1.5mg per litre of chlorine with a pH between 7-7.2 reduced the infectivity of the virus by more than 1000 times in as little as 30 seconds. Additional testing of different chlorine and pH ranges confirmed that chlorine in swimming pool water was more effective with a lower pH – which is in line with current guidance for swimming pool operation.
By mixing the virus with swimming pool water, the study showed that the virus does not survive in swimming pool water. It was no longer infectious and suggested the chance of contracting Covid-19 from swimming pool water is tiny.
This is amazing news for swimmers. These findings suggest that swimming pools can be safe environments if appropriate measures are taken for lap swimming (not pool parties!)
Of course, swimmers still need to maintain social distancing from other swimmers to avoid infection. Strictly Swimming London lessons are held in extremely quiet pools which allow us to maintain social distancing. With our own teaching lane, Strictly Swimming clients can rest assured that they will remain safe during their lesson, as we are separate to the other lap swimmers in the pool.
Safety measures in the pool
Finally, there are still lots of safety measures in swimming pools right now which help Strictly Swimming London lessons also reduce the risk of transmission. The number of swimmers allowed in the pool at any one time are now limited during this pandemic, showering before and after lessons is required, social distancing in and around the pool is adhered to, sanitising hands and surfaces are still in operation at our pools.
The sport of swimming is great exercise, and exercise is important to our physical and mental health — now more than ever. Pools present very low risks for COVID-19 transmission, but with the right precautions, your exercise program should go swimmingly this winter.
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Paul started competing in swimming from the age of 8 and eventually went on to represent his country all over the world. During his time at University, Paul specialised in Aquatics and the Biomechanics of Swimming and produced numerous theses on swimming performance.